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Great Tips And Advice For Organic Growing

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Useful Organic Gardening Tips

When it comes to gardening, everybody needs practice to pick up those unwritten wisdoms that almost no one will tell you. That’s why gardening is one of those hobbies that requires both theoretical knowledge and practice in order to result in a healthy, great-looking garden. Here are some useful gardening tips that will help you get one up on your neighbor.

• Mulch your flower beds and trees with 3’’ of organic material – it conserves water, adds humus and nutrients, and discourages weeds. It gives your beds a nice, finished appearance;
• Mulch acid-loving plants with a thick layer of pine needles each fall. As the needles decompose, they will deposit their acid in the soil;
• The most important step in pest management is to maintain healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage;
• Aphids? Spray infested stems, leaves and buds with a very dilute soapy water, then clear water. It works even on the heaviest infestation;
• Compost improves soil structure, texture and aeration, and increases the soil’s water capacity. It also promotes soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development;
• Look for natural and organic alternatives to chemical fertilizers, such as the use of compost. Our use of inorganic fertilizers is causing a toxic buildup of chemicals in our soil and drinking water;
• When buying plants for your landscape, select well-adapted plant types for your soil, temperature range, and sun or shade exposure.

Organic Fertilizers

Fertilizers derived from vegetable matter, animal matter or human excreta are referred to as organic fertilizers. They are also known as manure or compost, and in contrast to them, the great majority of fertilizers are produced industrially, like ammonia, or extracted from minerals, such as phosphate rock, for example.

Mineral

The main source of organic fertilizer is peat, an immature precursor to coal. Peat itself offers no nutritional value to the plants, but improves the soil by aeration and absorbing water. Mined powdered limestone, rock phosphate and Chilean saltpeter are inorganic compounds, which can be energetically intensive to harvest.

Animal sources

Animal sources are, essentially, materials which include the products of the slaughter of animals, with typical precursors being bloodmeal, bone meal, hides, hoofs and horns. Chicken litter, which consists of chicken manure mixed with sawdust, is an organic fertilizer that has been shown to better condition soil for harvest than synthesized fertilizer.

Plant

Processed organic fertilizers include seaweed extracts, amino acids, humic acid and compost. Other examples are nature enzyme-digested proteins, feather meal and fish meal. Decomposing crop residue (green manure) from prior years is another source of fertility. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found that algae used to capture nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural fields can not only prevent water contamination of these nutrients, but also can be used as an organic fertilizer.

Sewage sludge

Although night soil is a traditional organic fertilizer, the main source of this type is sewage sludge. Animal-sourced urea and urea-formaldehyde from urine are suitable for organic agriculture; however, synthetically produced urea is not.

Organic Gardening Systems

There are dozens of techniques out there that can be used in organic gardening. By combining different techniques we create different organic gardening systems. Certain organic gardening systems tend to be more specific than general organic standards. Here are few types of organic gardening systems:

Forest gardening – This fully organic food production system dates from prehistoric times. It represents the world’s oldest and most resilient agroecosystem.
Biodynamic agriculture – This method, created by Rudolf Steiner, treats soil fertility, plant growth and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks, emphasizing spiritual and mystical perspectives.
No-till farming – This is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage.
French intensive gardening – This is a method of gardening in which humans work with nature to foster healthy, vibrant plants with smaller space and less water than traditional gardening.
Biointensive agriculture – This is an organic agricultural system that focuses on achieving maximum yields from a minimum area of land, while simultaneously increasing biodiversity and sustaining the fertility of the soil.

Professional Gardening Tools

Of course you want the best tools for your organic garden. But, there are dozens of different tools out there. The logical question here is – how to choose quality and professional gardening tools? First of all, professional gardeners don’t want fancy wood handles or shiny polished blades. This is totally irrelevant to them. Instead, they choose tough, sharp tools that can be used all day to get the job done. This is something you too should strive for.

Shovels and spades are the workforces of the garden and these days almost all originate from China (doesn’t matter what the label says). Some of them can be decent tools, but none of them can be compared to real professional tools.

Tolls that are all-steel constructed and shaped specifically with sharpened edges are something you should search for. If you find a tool with chrome-molybdenum alloy steel blades and handles that are carefully heat-treated in order to produce exceptionally strong “toy”, don’t hesitate, buy it instantly! This material is often used in aircraft and automotive industries where high-strength steel parts are needed, so you should definitely buy some for yourself if you want to have the best possible gardening tools.

Coffee Ground As A Fertilizer

Whether you make your cup of coffee daily or you have noticed your local coffee house has started to put out bags of used coffee, you may be wondering about composting with coffee grounds. Are coffee grounds as fertilizer a good idea? And how do coffee grounds used for gardens help or hurt? Keep reading to learn more about coffee grounds and gardening.

Composting with coffee grounds is a great way to make use of something that would otherwise end up taking up space in a landfill. Composting coffee grounds helps to add nitrogen to your compost pile. Composting coffee grounds is as easy as throwing the used coffee grounds onto your compost pile. Used coffee filters can be composted as well.

However, used coffee grounds for gardening does not end with compost. Many people choose to place coffee grounds straight onto the soil and use it as a fertilizer. The thing to keep in mind is while coffee grounds add nitrogen to your compost, they will not immediately add nitrogen to your soil.

The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertilizer is that it adds organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil. The used coffee grounds will also help microorganisms beneficial to plant growth to thrive as well as attract earthworms.

Many people feel that coffee grounds lower the pH (or raise the acid level) of soil, which happens to be good for acid-loving plants. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds. If you rinse your used coffee grounds, they will have a neutral pH of 6.5 and will not affect the acid levels of the soil. To use coffee grounds as a fertilizer, work the coffee grounds into the soil around your plants. Leftover diluted coffee works well like this too.